Veterans get the TRiO treatment

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The TRiO Open House will introduce veterans to its services, include free barbecue.



By Christian Erevia

A program that serves as an advocate for disabled veterans at this college — particularly those who are first-generation students — will host an open house from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday in Room 219 of Oppenheimer Center.

TRiO Veteran Support Services provides an additional resource for veterans at this college, said TRiO Project Director DeWanna Greer. There is also a separate veteran affairs office here.

TRiO, which was launched here in February, offers a personalized place where veterans can join as members to receive advising, counseling and financial information. TRiO also provides workshops that cover skills like time management.

“TRiO is a family, and anybody that knows TRiO, knows that we take care of you,” said TRiO Certified Adviser Erica Alvarez.

This college’s TRiO is part of a federal program that began in 2000, according to the department of education’s website.

Veterans at this college can experience the TRiO family firsthand at the event, which is open to all veterans and includes door prizes for TRiO members.

Attendees will learn about all that TRiO membership has to offer, which includes access to a private lab, equipped with computers, free printing and even dog bowls for those with service dogs. TRiO members also receive private tutoring, help with scholarships and transferring, Alvarez said.

“We just try to help people as much as we can,” said Al Cordew, peer mentor and human services sophomore.

Veterans are encouraged to attend the TRiO open house to find out if they qualify to become a member. Students must be disabled veterans, preferably first-generation college students and meet certain income criteria. However, Alvarez said most veterans qualify.

“It’s really nice to hear some of the stories and to be able to make that connection and bond,” Alvarez said.

The program received a five-year grant and can only accept 120 members. There is already a waiting list for new members.

Alvarez hopes the program will be expanded once the new Victory Center is complete.

Members can collect TRiO swag by attending events and being involved with the program. These goodies range from dog tag USB flash drives to challenge coins, which are collectible military-oriented tokens.

The open house, which will be catered by Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, will be followed by the TRiO Balancing Act Workshop, which will help veterans balance family, work and school.

“We want them to know we’re here for them,” Alvarez said.

For more information, call 210-486-1418


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